Let me be your nothing

Let me be the darkness
When you shine in relief

Let me be blank canvass
When you’re poised to paint

Let me be your nothing.

Let me be the lull
Before the melody occurs

Let me be your paper
Before the words spill

Let me be your nothing.

Let me be the poem
That you only spin in mind

Let me be the silence
Before you make a sound

Let me be your nothing.

When pain comes to you

When pain comes to you
Embrace it, accept it,
It tells you that you are alive
That you can think and feel
That you have a beating heart
And a ticking mind.
When tears brim in your eyes
Let them flow
They tell you that you allowed
Pain to seep through
And whet your soul
That you were not afraid
To be yourself
And to feel with abandon.
That you lived
And loved
That you didn’t just
Skim the surface of life,
But dived deep
And came up with pearls.
When pain comes to you
Don’t block it
Let it be an old friend
With keys to your heart
Let it come and go as it pleases
And sometimes meet it at a landing
And ask, ‘Hey, how you doin’ now?’

Rustom and the Last Storyteller of Almora

Books that are set in different eras, different places, and about people whose lives are diverse from mine, always make me feel like I am getting much more than just one story. Without passports or tickets, I get to travel these worlds, peek inside the minds of amazing people. This book offered me much more than that.

Rustom is a man of a strange kind of integrity – his actions display a weird mismatch with his thoughts. By outward appearances, he seems reckless, thoughtless, even. But since we’re privy to his thoughts, we know that he is conscientious, trying to right the wrongs, ensuring that his family is safe after him. He is a man who is a sum of many parts. Thinking about tidbits of wisdom that his mother shared with him, thinking about his wife (in her various avatars), thinking about his sister in the hospital (suicide, he believes – because she always knew what she was doing). I was touched by how real he was. The rich Parsi family with a ‘history’ of suicide provided the perfect backdrop  with uncles who kill themselves in a suicide pact – a grandfather who will allow the family to inherit money only if Rustom kills himself.

How much money can you spend in a lifetime? In one scene, Rustom slaps his forehead wondering how the money ever got over. 

He is desperate, and desperate people do desperate things. Even things like plotting to kill themselves. Suicide is a topic I personally wonder a lot about too.
But Rustom is not the depressed, suicidal kind – he was driven to it – thinking himself into a dark corner, whence the only escape is the narrow window that suicide allows him.

Enter Kahani Baba, the lovable, rotund psychic who shakes Rustom’s consciousness with his visions. In each vision is hidden a clue that could end Rustom’s misery. The clues are random and non-linear – as a reader, I found myself sucked into the vortex of Rustom’s mind, trying to solve and make sense of the Kahani Baba experience.

Will Rustom crack the clues? Will he be able to get out of the corner he’s boxed himself into? For Rustom, the entire story plays out between the bullet and the skin – which, by the way, was an alternate title for the book, I heard!

On the writing – even while dealing with a subject like suicide, Gaurav keeps it pacey, and full of mystery. As a reader, you’ll find yourself turning the pages swiftly. The shorts within the main story were fantastic – each one a gem. Well done, GP!

A few books leave you with a feeling of having walked a mile in another’s shoes. This one does that really well. Another review called it, ‘an almost perfect debut.’ I couldn’t agree more, almost perfect! Go grab your copy! Highly recommended.

You can order your copy of Rustom and the Last Storyteller of Almora HERE.


How audacious to think that I'm beautiful
how impolite to say it
how rude to open my hair, 
let it fly and sway it
how proud to hold my head high,
to look you in the eye
how unthinkable to have my own thought
and unflinchingly relay it


The rain…
It fell all around me
And on me
And it was also sunny
And I wondered why such contrast exists
I exist
You exist
Yes, contrasts exist in this world
And when we mix
Sometimes a rainbow emerges
Epic, stretching from forever to forever
Arching over our lives
And wondrously beautiful

On friends and friendships

Got this as a forwarded email:

Bonding with your gal pals is the best way to deal with life's ups and downs, here are six types that every woman relies on for advice and emotion support

We need different friends to fulfill different needs. Some make good counsellors, others are good listeners and some are miss fix-its. Each one plays an important role in our lives, and we cannot do without them. Here are six types of friends every woman needs in her life.

The new friend:

As much as we love our old friends, it's always nice to meet new people and add them to your friends list. New friends add a spark to your life, and help you re-evaluate your world, adding a new perspective to your life. They inspire and excite you, motivating you to get out of the routine and try something new.

The counsellor:

Can't afford a shrink? She is your best bet. She will listen to all your problems and offer you sound advice without being critical or judgmental of your situation. You can rant about the problems you are having at work, in your relationship or with any situation that requires your attention.

The strong as a rock friend:

She has been there with you like a solid rock in the ups and downs of your life. She knows you better than anybody and has seen and handled your various mood swings. You have had your share of fights, arguments and misunderstandings and have worked your way through it. You love each other and are inseparable.

The fun friend:

This one knows how to have a great time and she is the one who does not mind adding that crazy energy to your life. She always knows where the happening parties are and does not believe in getting home till the sun rises.

The honest one:

She will not say things to please you, and will not shy away from telling you the truth no matter what.

The mother hen:

She is the one you go to when in need for some TLC. She is gentle and comforting and will fix you a quick meal when your feeling down in the dumps. She will not lecture you, but will comfort you like a mother.

This got me thinking – what kind of friend am I? I am not a mother hen. I am not ‘the fun friend’. The shrink? I can listen and give advice, but with a caveat – it may not be sound; I give, ‘use at your own risk’ kinda advice. I am honest, generally speaking, but I don’t believe in ‘hurt the other person’ kind of honesty. So if you look fat, don’t ask me if you do, because I’ll never say yes.

I don’t know what I inspire as a new friend, ‘creative ways to avoid new people’ maybe. I am a bad new friend. Most of time, I am faking it. I am losing interest in getting to know new people – just takes too much energy and they soon show some side of them that I dislike. Dear god, am I turning into a misanthrope?

Looks like I don’t fit anywhere on this list. Does that mean, I am no friend at all? O_o

I have been wondering, this disinterest in making new friendships - is it me or is it them?

That day

Image source: http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/thumbnail/227566/1/Woman-With-A-Mask.jpg

That day

I didn’t have the courage

To say, ‘Don’t.’

That day

I hid my face and

And today

As I step into my closet

To hang another face,

My eyes wander to that one,

The one with

The shame of cowardice

Writ large,

Stowed behind cobwebs

Of escapism.

I pull it out

And hang it away with

Myriad other faces:

The caricature of bonhomie

The grimace of being me…

One day

I’ll have courage again

To pick it up

Stroke it,

Own it, and say,

‘Yes, I was a coward

But I am who I am.’

And from that day on,

I will have no more

Need for facades

Your name

I want to taste your name

... savor it…

Bite off a corner of it,

Suck in the rest of it,

Slowly swirl it around my tongue and

Breathe it into the air,

Wrapped in a whisper

Inspired by something a four-year-old said about love. http://sobadsogood.com/2012/06/29/heart-warming-quotes-about-love-romance-from-kids/


Poetry begins to feel poeticker

When taken in with

A little dose of you

Wine more intoxicating

When swirled in

Thoughts of you

The chocolate chocolatier

Breeze breezier

And me? I feel meer

When I am with you

3D, 4D, why this kolavari Di?

I watched Avengers some time ago. I liked it. Okay, the first half could have been better but guess there was just too much story to set up. So what happens is that you’re just waiting and waiting for Banner to turn into Hulk and for Tony Stark to be in his suit; and it just drags on. (I love Stark without the suit too – he’s a brilliant character. Some others are just so boring and dry they could catch fire if not careful.) But this is not a review of the film. This is really about something else.

All through this film that I had waited and waited to catch, I was totally disturbed by the stupid 3D glasses. They were so freaking uncomfortable! And well, the 3D was quite unnecessary, I thought. I don’t know if everyone felt this way or it’s just me. I want to be completely into the film when I am watching it, and the 3D just won’t let me!

It’s like every two minutes something flies at you and reminds you that you’re watching a movie. They might as well shake your seats and laugh loudly in your ear. I mean, please movie people, you need to get a grip. We go to the cinema for the high of losing ourselves in the story. Something coming flying at me every two seconds is not really my idea of involvement.

And the whole effect was crappy. The screen looked dark almost the whole time. Not sure if this is how it was everywhere or the theatre I watched it at had some problem. In any case, a part of me was just dying for this torture to end so I could take off the freaking glasses. Interestingly, the film was good so it kept me in my seat despite the inconvenience and discomfort. But I couldn’t help thinking how much more I’d have enjoyed it if I’d just watched the 2D version of it.

The most annoying part is that the images look grainy and blurred if you take off the glasses. But at least the screen gets lighter, so I did watch part of the movie without the glasses; blurry, but in perfectly good color. So basically, I paid through my nose at a multiplex to get annoyed, irritated and totally miserable.

And I hear 4D technology is here. Geez. I wonder what it does. As if the just the glasses were not uncomfortable enough.

I am scared to think of what 5D, 6D and 7D technologies will do to me. Will the actors stand around me and perform while I cower in fear of being struck dead? Will the hero jump and kiss me instead of the heroine? That should be good though! Imagine being kissed by Tony Stark. Haha. I can sure deal with it.

But then there are some movies I absolutely enjoyed in 3D! How to train your dragon was brilliant and I really liked the effect. Avatar was great! I only remembered at the end of the movie that I was wearing the glasses.

But Avengers 3D did not work (for me at least). Maybe 3D needs a whole new technological shift – lose the glasses, for starters. Most viewers don’t want to be dazzled by a firework display of super effects – we still want the good old story telling and emotional involvement. Somehow technology seems to come in the way. So movie people, how about just ditching the whole 3D thing and just concentrating on making a good movie instead?

I believe 3D should come with a caveat: Use only if absolutely necessary. And please, only if it enhances the emotional connection in some way, not if it hampers it.